The silence is eerie. No voices. No laughter. No running up and down the stairs. No doors slamming. All I hear are the hum of appliances, birds chirping outside, and an occasional airplane flying overhead. After decades of having children running about our house, it is now empty.
I wander from room to room. Each object has a special memory that bounces back into my consciousness. Oh, so many happy occasions along with a few less cheery times. However, the house that was once so full now feels hollow. The children who made it vibrant are now adults. All have their own residences and only come back to visit. Now, it is only my husband and I.
While the children may no longer be present, every nook and cranny is still filled with delightful recollections. We are a realtor’s worst nightmare. We would rather stay put as long as possible. The mere thought of moving makes me perspire and breathe too heavily.
But is staying in such a large home practical?
- Cleaning 6 Bathrooms
- Yearly Maintenance
- Utility Costs
- Real Estate Taxes
- Excessive Unused Space
- Increased Cost of Living
I’m sure there are a few additional items that I’ve forgotten.
For weeks, we pondered our options.
Should we stay?
Should we move?
With mixed emotions, we chose the latter.
It made sense to downsize. But how small was the right size?
How many of those special possessions could we dare to give up?
We started visiting homes on the market and ones being built. Slowly we narrowed our choices to a select few. Once we found a place that met our criteria, a contract was signed. Now we had the impetus to move. A contingency clause protects us in the event our existing home does not sell.
Getting our house ready for a future move was challenging. We should have learned from our relocation to Colorado that it is not wise to keep anything that is not being used on a regular basis. Bags and bags of items were donated to charity along with other bags that held our discards. The garbage man was astounded by our overly stuffed garbage cans.
My previously cluttered house was now ready to be listed. We were headed into another transition period. We were empty nesters downsizing to a smaller home.
Were we headed in the right direction?
Oliver Wendell Holmes once stated, “The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.” While my husband and I still consider ourselves active individuals, we must accept this next stage in our lives. Transitioning to a more appropriately sized house is part of that process. Coping with the challenges associated with such a move cannot be avoided. However, looking forward rather than back will be an asset while going through the process of downsizing our home.
Periodic future blogs will focus on this new chapter of my life.
Do you have anything that you’d like to share about downsizing, moving, or major transitions? It would be great if you could take a moment.
Anyone leaving a comment on this post by July 10 will be eligible for a random drawing. The lucky winner will receive an autographed copy of May This Be the Best Year of Your Life.
My memoir was a finalist in the Travel category for the 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, the 2013 International Book Awards, and the 2013 National Indie Book Excellence Awards.